CARRIAGEWORKS PREMIERES SIMPLE INFINITY, NEW CONTEMPORARY THEATRE BY URBAN THEATRE PROJECTS | MEDIA RELEASE
June 16, 2016
FIRST MAJOR COMMISSION UNDER NEW NORMAL STRATEGY UNVEILED
Sydney, Australia: Carriageworks will present the premiere of a new contemporary Australian theatre work titled Simple Infinity, created by Urban Theatre Projects and developed in partnership with artists who identify as operating differently in the world. Presented at Carriageworks from 13 until 16 July 2016, Simple Infinity interweaves performance, dance and new contemporary classical music, in a celebration of the individual – illuminating the vulnerability and fragility of our personal and intimate connections with each other.
Artistic Director Rosie Dennis has collaborated with a team of professional artists, many of whom who identify as having mental health issues, to explore the broader social issue of “less visible” disabilities. Some of the artists in the work prefer not use labels when referring to how they experience and live in the world, preferring to talk about how people operate differently in the world. Part of the process of making the work is a series of open rehearsals onsite at Carriageworks.
Commenting on the work, Rosie Dennis said: “Conversational in tone, we’re inviting the audience into an ephemeral space to experience the unravelling of an idiosyncratic conversation between our two protagonists. Whilst superficially this conversation may read as playful, the subtext seeks to spark a bigger conversation about mental health and the impact it has on people’s lives.”
Lisa Havilah, Director of Carriageworks, commented: “Artists with a disability make a significant contribution to our artistic and cultural life in NSW. The support of the NSW Government through the NSW Arts and Disability Partnership is enabling us to deliver high-quality innovative work that bring together NSW arts companies such as Urban Theatre Projects and differently-abled artists.”
Simple Infinity includes new contemporary classical music composed by NSW-based composer Liberty Kerr, performed by a traditional string quartet. Australian dancer and choreographer Vicki van Hout will perform alongside spoken word performances by Luke Waterlow and Cheng Moy Yeow. The set takes the form of an infinity symbol in the centre of Carriageworks’ public space, offering a sonic and visual experience for visitors during the non-performance hours of the season. Simple Infinity is the first commission to be realised under Carriageworks’ National Arts and Disability Strategy New Normal and is supported by the NSW Government through the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and Arts NSW. The project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Ministry for the Arts’ Catalyst— Australian Arts and Culture Fund.
New Normal is an extension of the NSW Arts & Disability Partnership, announced in January 2015 by the NSW Minister for Disability Services, Minister John Ajaka MLC. It includes funding of $475,000 to support four programs that promote social inclusion through the arts and disability sector. The Partnership also includes $100,000 support for Carriageworks to commission two major new works developed by artists with disability in collaboration with NSW arts companies and artists.
SIMPLE INFINITY PREMIERE SEASON
13-16 JULY 2016, 7PM
INSTALLATION: 25 June-16 July, 10am-6pm daily
Director Rosie Dennis
Designer David Hawkes
Performers Vicki van Hout, Luke Waterlow, Cheng Moy Yeow
Composer Liberty Kerr
Musicians Liberty Kerr, Hamish Gullick, Eleanore Vuong, Alastair Duff-Forbes
Production Manager Frank Mainoo
Consultant Sofya Gollan
ABOUT CARRIAGEWORKS: Carriageworks presents a contemporary multi-arts program that engages artists and audiences with contemporary ideas and issues. The program is artist led and emerges from Carriageworks’ commitment to reflecting social and cultural diversity. The Carriageworks Artistic Program is ambitious, risk taking and unrelenting in its support of artists. Carriageworks is a cultural facility of the NSW Government and is supported by Arts NSW. The Carriageworks program can be viewed at http://www.carriageworks.com.au
ABOUT URBAN THEATRE PROJECTS: Urban Theatre Projects (UTP) is an award-winning arts and theatre company based at Bankstown Arts Centre; they are leading the conversation of re-framing contemporary arts practice in both disability and community-engaged practice. UTP are driven to tell stories that may otherwise not be told – stories that are full of humanity and that find the universal in the personal. They are passionate about finding different voices to tell these stories and inspired to find new ways to shape these stories into theatre that challenges and provokes audiences to consider life from a different perspective. UTP draws upon a 30-year lineage of distinctive new theatre works based on a process of conversation between contemporary theatre practice and diverse communities. Stories and images of contemporary life are created in collaboration with teams of artists from a range of artistic practices and cultural backgrounds.
ABOUT NEW NORMAL: New Normal is a national strategy initiated by Carriageworks for the development of contemporary disability arts practice. New Normal will see 10 major works commissioned over three years and presented within the Carriageworks Artistic Program. In commissioning Simple Infinity, Carriageworks supported the work’s creative development as part of Carriageworks In Development in 2015 and will present Simple Infinity as part of the 2016 Artistic Program.